Thursday, November 8, 2012

A BAD Day At Chick-Fil-A????

On election day I had one of the most shocking, disheartening experiences of my life. No, I refer not to the results of the contest but to something far more disquieting, far more damaging to my sense of well-being and normalcy. I actually had a bad customer service experience at Chick-Fil-A!!

I’m not a big fan of fast food, but when I do get a hankering for greasy, delicious chicken, I prefer Chick-Fil-A. I suppose that in the 8 years or so since the Short Pump store opened, I have made 200 trips to the place. Actually that number makes it appear that I am quite the fast food fan, but do the math folks, that’s only twice a month!! It has always been the same thing, delicious chicken, impossibly cheerful employees, sparkling clean tables and despite the lines, jet-fast service. Until election day.

I had just stood in line for 45 minutes exercising my franchise and had worked up an appetite. I noticed that there wasn’t a long line of cars in the drive-thru so I pulled up, and walked inside for a sausage egg and cheese biscuit. There was a long line but nothing out of the ordinary. Immediately I noticed that my fellow patrons seemed edgy, irritated. Perhaps they were frustrated by the voting process or something. Soon, it became clear what the source of this strange vibe was. Something foreign and sinister had crept inside my Chick-Fil-A…bad service! The cheerful cashiers seemed irritable, shaken. There were four of them hovering around one cash register in frustration. Three more were visibly distraught about the pace at which the cooks were delivering their orders, even to the point of verbal confrontation. In 8 years I have never heard an ill-word exchanged by anyone on the payroll. What was happening?? It was as though someone had screwed with the space time continuum and I had been transported to a Jeff-Davis highway McDonalds on the Southside. An Asian man in the line next to me was getting more agitated by the minute and was muttering furiously in some unknown tongue. When his order was finally complete he loudly proclaimed, “ Bad Work!! Too much time!! Too much time!! Bad work!!”

When my traumatized cashier finally handed me my order, she apologized profusely and begged my forgiveness. I said not to worry and thanked her, to which she replied in a trembling tone…”My pleasure…”

It occurred to me when I got in my car to leave just how well run a business is Chick-Fil-A. After 8 years, I had just had my first bad experience. That’s 8 years of outstanding customer service, in a fast food joint! Are you kidding me? What a record. The fact that I am even writing about this testifies to what an anomaly it is! What it proves is that even the best run enterprises in the world have bad days. What sets apart Chick-Fil-A is that when they have one, it’s big news. So I write not to complain, but to praise. The fact that I had my first bad experience means that I’ve got 8 more years of, “It’s a great day at Chick-Fil-A“, and, “My pleasure” in my future. Oh, and by the way, my sausage egg and cheese biscuit might have taken a while to arrive, but it was awesome.